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A Short-Term Approach to Climate Change Planning

The climate change discussion is usually defined by timelines that reach the end of the century, but some cities are preparing for the future of an altered climate by taking a short-term approach.
October 19, 2020, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Main Street
Downtown Red Wing, Minnesota.
Sam Wagner

"As cities debate ways to meet their long-term goals for emissions reductions, a Minnesota town’s new climate plan calls for fast action and quick results over the next five years," reports Frank Jossi.

"The City Council in Red Wing unanimously approved a five-year climate action plan in August and its members anticipate boosting current programs and starting new initiatives within the next few months. The short time horizon contrasts with climate plans in other cities rolled out over a 20-year span," adds Jossi.

The new, short-term approach to climate change is the result of technical consultation provided by the Great Plains Institute. "The city paid Great Plains Institute nearly $15,000 to create the climate action plan, with roughly $3,000 of that paid by a grant. The city would have had to pay Great Plains a higher fee for a plan covering more years," according to Jossi.

The lower coast and shorter timeline is considered a selling point for smaller cities, explains Jossi about the benefits of the Great Plains Initiative. As for what Red Wing got in return for its investment, Jossi says the new climate action plan offers five strategies for reducing emissions from buildings, transportation, and waste.

"If Red Wing follows its climate action plan, greenhouse emissions will fall by 9% during that period, but combined with improved code enforcement on new buildings and a cleaner electricity supply from Xcel Energy, that reduction looks more like 21%," according to Jossi.

A lot more detail on Red Wing's new Climate Action Work Plan (2020  2025) are included in the source article, including some of the city's past actions for emissions reductions, and some of the challenges the city expects to encounter over the short timeline of the new plan.

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 in Energy News Network
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